Jamaican Community Activist Honoured with Blue Plaque in London


Pioneering Jamaican community activist, Connie Mark, has been posthumously honoured with a prestigious Blue Plaque at the hostel, Mary Seacole House in Hammersmith, where she resided during the final years of her life.
The plaque was unveiled on Monday (June 30) by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, in association with Care U.K. and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, at a small ceremony hosted as part of the Borough’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in the United Kingdom (U.K.).
Jamaican High Commissioner to the U.K., Burchell Whiteman paid tribute to Mrs. Mark at the ceremony, as did the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Councillor Andrew Johnson.
Mr. Whiteman said that Mrs. Mark and those of her generation helped to pave the way for other Jamaican and Caribbean immigrants in the UK and described her as a remarkable person, a role model and stalwart of the community.
Mrs. Mark came to Britain in 1954 after working as a medical secretary for the British Army Medical Corps in Jamaica. In addition to her pioneering social and community work and contribution in highlighting Caribbean culture in post-war Britain, she was also the founder of the Friends of Mary Seacole – later known as the Mary Seacole Memorial Association. She was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) on the Queen’s Honours List in 2001 and remained active until her death on June 3, 2007. Co-founder of the Association, Shirley Graham Paul, said Mrs. Mark was a friend and a mother figure to many and that she commanded respect from all who met her.
Mrs. Mark’s daughter, Amur, also attended Monday’s special ceremony and a special tribute by the Chairman of the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal, Lord Clive Soley was read by Maxine Hurley.
English Heritage has managed the blue plaque scheme since 1986. Plaques have since been issued to commemorate the achievements of a wide range of people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds including the late former Prime Minister and historian, Sir Winston Churchill; American musician, Jimi Hendrix; crime fiction writer, Agatha Christie; and Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud.

JIS Social